Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Minding Organization: Chapter 3

Adapting and Planning

Complex systems cannot be studied by the time-honored scientific approach of breaking the system into its smallest components and studying them separately, then inferring total system behavior from the behavior of the separate parts.  This scientific approach, known as reductionism, fails to consider the most important aspect of complex system behavior. This aspect is the unplanned and undirected, spontaneous interaction of the components in the process of self-organization.  The interaction allows the system to adapt to a changing, uncertain, chaotic environment environment that cannot be fully anticipated as the future unfolds and becomes the present.

Adaptation is the central characteristic of complex systems that operate in part with no plan.


To adapt, we must position the system on the edge of chaos. Clusters of the system are given the authority to experiment, interact with other systems, go off on tangents, wander off course to explore what is out there, and falter many times before there is a big payoff resulting from spontaneous, breakthrough innovation.  This can be achieved in a system that has balanced the unplanned with the planned responses; a system which is flexible, unplanned , and chaotic enough to permit exploration, innovation, and adaptations, together with planned responses that are steady and orderly, but not to the point of a rigidly frozen state of order.

Organizations Plan Too Much

There is too much planning in organizations today. The metaphors of the past 30 years are not working. Half as much planning as is presently done will be more than enough for starters. Even the nature of the planned portion will have to change if we are to embrace a model of chaos and uncertainty in system behavior as the most suitable for adapting to a world characterized by chaos and uncertainty.  Long-range strategic planning has seen its heyday. We must learn to bring the future closer to the present and very often respond to events in real time as they unfold.  The majority, as many as two-thirds, of the organizations that have come into being in the last 10 years emerged quickly, with no long-range plan at all. They define self-organization in action.  These new creations were more of a result of innovative, creative thinking in which the future was brought into the present, rather than any particular planning. Obsessive planning parallels the obsession with centralized control. Both may lead to excessive rigidity with no room for adaptation.

Making a Half-Plan

An important message repeatedly surfaced regarding the human organism, and it is the basic message of our book. The minding organization as an organism must plan for the future 50%  and it must be ready to respond to the 50% that cannot be anticipated.

It is the unrehearsed, unplanned, new movement, thought, perception, language, and emotion that is produced by human beings that is the act of creating. Movement, thought, perception, language, and emotion stored by past experiences, training, and rehearsing, can be reproduced from the planned. We can safely conclude that human experience nearly always involves both the earlier stored part, which is reproduced, and the newly created part, which is produced.  The balance between the two varies. At the extreme, when we predominantly reproduce responses, there is a great deal of constancy, little surprise, and much repetition as time marches on.  We have the sterility of near-perfect order. On the other hand, when we predominantly produce new, varied, and unrehearsed responses, we are constantly surprised, because we never know what will come next. We have the visibility of near chaos.

On a daily basis we should act with the balance of the planned and unplanned responses. We all have a capacity for creativity. We also have the capacity for innovation – putting new ideas, our own and those of others, to practical use. How much creativity an innovation take place depends on how much tolerance people and organizations have for the unplanned. Highly ordered and planned organization stifle creativity and innovation. The emerging organization that embrace the chaos and uncertainty of the unplanned thrive on creativity and innovation. Such organizations are relentless in experimenting and improvising to constantly find better and simpler ways of adapting in an interactively linked universe of systems, at times competing and at times cooperating, in their quest to survive and thrive.

Entrepreneurial organization all start out with such seat-of-the-pants thinking and acting. Such young organization have few rules and much vision. The goal is to carve a niche for themselves and they actively seek new opportunities for growth.  Their willingness to adapt and change is strong because they have no stake in any preconceived way of doing things.  Gradually, however, as they become successful, organizational thinking loses its flexibility and becomes more fossilized. The company grows to have a stake in maintaining the status quo, with resources dedicated to its preservation. To thrive in an ever-changing world, and to keep up with entrepreneurial upstarts who would like nothing more than to replace them, organizations must reincorporate the attitude toward chaos that made them good to begin with.

The Tradition of long-range planning is losing its relevance. We must learn to embrace uncertainty and chaos, using flexible short-term plans that are based equally on uncertainty and chaos. A metaphor for the organizations of the past were the railroads with their fixed tracks, fixed stations for passengers to embark and disembark, fixed and closely monitored times of arrival and departure. The plan for operations was frozen, to eliminate the uncertainty of the unexpected to the extent possible. Order reigned supreme. This was the model that organizations tried to emulate in the past. The passengers of the railroad and the customers of like-minded corporations had to adapt to the plans of the respective organizations. You could go on a train any place, any time, as long as the place and time were in the plans predetermined by the railroad, just as you could alter get a Ford in any color you wanted, provided you wanted black.

A metaphor for the organizations of the future is taxis cruising the roads of major cities, looking to pick up passengers. Taxis cruise in a somewhat random manner, without fixed stations, and without fixed times of arrival and departure. Uncertainty, surprise, and the unexpected are the rule. Whereas the railroads have no traffic jams (in fact, traffic is stopped to let trains go through, to ensure that the plan is not disrupted), for the taxi traffic jams are a possibility, but then the taxi can adapt and use alternate surface roads, making just-in-time decisions as events unfold on the road. The taxi has some rules of conduct – fixed pickup location sin airports and hotels, traffic lights and laws that must be obeyed, and a taxi may have arrangements with some customers for fixed and regular pickup times. Even while cruising the city streets, the route taken by a taxi is not entirely random, because it follows a path that tries to match the randomness in time and place of potential passengers. Thus, some streets will have more taxis cruising, others fewer. As demand changes because of new office buildings and hotels, or the demolition of such buildings, the number and frequency of taxis cruising the streets change. Although the system has a communication center, scheduled maintenance, and other planned activities, it is a self-organization system to a degree. It embraces uncertainty, chaos, and the unexpected by adapting a flexible, random plan with a repertoire of responses that attempts to match the uncertainty and chaos of the world within which it operates. The organization of the future will embrace the metaphor of the taxi, in which uncertainty is a reality, and the need to perpetually adapt to new emerging realities is a way of life.

People Are the Real Assets

He suggests that successful efforts to adapt to change depend on individuals and their collective action, not on financial resources and corporate policies. Trust and respect are the driving forces that empower people to successfully adapt to change.

In the organization that is emerging, the real assets will not go home at night because they will not go to work in the morning; they will work wherever they are.

Self-Organization Sparks Creativity

One attribute of self-organizing systems is adaptation. The brain adapts to inputs from the environment, the body adapts to infection and injury, and organizations adapt to changing realities and market condition.

A second attribute of complex self-organizing systems is more amazing and illuminating. It appears that complex systems tend to position themselves at the boundary between operating in a stable fashion, based on a set plan, and at the same time responding with creativity and innovation to unplanned, unrehearsed, and unexpected developments that call for change, flexibility, and risk.  This boundary is the edge of chaos. Moving too far away from this edge toward the planned and stable, the system freezes and become sterile; moving too far toward the unplanned, the system collapses in chaos and disarray.

A third attribute of complex self-organizing systems has a most profound effect on the likelihood for adaptation on the edge of chaos. This is the size of the system, and the amount of diversity within it. Innovation occurs best in small groups of diverse backgrounds. Uniformity and sameness, with no intellectual and cultural diversity, stifle innovation. With our increasing reliance on “global togetherness” through cyberspace and mass media, many individual differences may disappear; the implication for creativity , adaption, and innovation may be deadly.






The Minding Organization: Chapter 2

Transforming the Organization into an Organism

Science is often viewed as a source of complexity. In fact, science is dedicated to the pursuit of simplicity. Science provides models for encapsulating seemingly unrelated observations and giving them meaning in a larger context.

The time is ripe for a new metaphor for organizations. The metaphor we shall discuss is the metaphor of the minding organization – how complexity theory can be used to transform an organization into an organism. In such an organism, individual behavior is driven or attracted by a shared purpose. Each individual acts in such a way that if others were to do the same, it would be to the benefit of both the individual and others at one and the same time.  People are aligned and bound by mutual trust and driven by common purpose, like the organs within a living, thriving human being.

The new science of complexity suggests that order, as described by the model of evolution, is not entirely random and accidental. Natural selection, it suggests, is a refinement process that follows a spontaneous transition from chaos to order.

The new science of complexity suggests a model of complex systems that go through a rapid transition from chaos to order by self-organizing. Evolution, then, is the process of slowly paced refinements, working within a state or order initially achieved through an act of spontaneous self-organization.

The spontaneous emerging order can be likened to a revolution, or a major breakthrough innovation, whereas evolution involves the refinements of the new level of order resulting from the revolution.

The two stages of revolution and evolution are shown schematically in Figure 2.1.  The horizontal axis is the time scale. The vertical axis is the scale for the level of order; the higher on the scale, the more order.  To transition from one level of order to a new level, a surge of energy is needed to create a spontaneous event of very high impact, a revolution, that can create the lift to a higher state of order.


Applying Complexity Theory to Organizations

Miner’s Helmet Example

A small battery with an on/off switch is attached to the helmet and is wired to a light bulb, also on the helmet.

Focus is on the state of the light bulb.

Only 2 states: On or Off

If we have 2 people with such helmets, then we can assume 4 different states:

  1. Both Lights On
  2. Both Lights Off
  3. (1) Light on (2) Light off
  4. (1) Light of (2) Light on

For 3 people, we will have 8 states, every time we add a person with a helmet, the number of states is doubled.

thus for n people, there are 2 to the power of n states.


for 10 people, 2^10 = 1,024 possible states

The state space encompasses the complete range of possible behaviors that the system can assume.

2 extremes of the spectrum of rules governing the states:

  • Chaos: no links and each person is free to switch his light on or off independent of what all the others do.
  • Order: All the helmets operate off a single battery shared, so only 2 states are possible, on or off.

Between Chaos and Order extreme points, we can have a groups of people agreeing to follow some rules of behavior. This represents a partial connectivity to the system.  Namely, 3 groups, A, B C

  • Group A will assume an on state whenever both B and C are on, and assume an off state otherwise.
  • Group B will assume an on state if at least one or the other groups (A or C) is on, and assume an off state otherwise.
  • Group C will assume an on state if at least one of the other groups (A or B) is on, and assume an off state otherwise.

Adhering to the rules of conduct, the system will settle into the following 3 states in the state space, irrespective of the initial state (which could have been any one of the 1,024 possible states in the state space)

  1. All lights are off.
  2. A cycle of two states, called a state cycle, in which the system alternates between only Group B on to only  group C on, back to only B on, then only C on, and so on forever.
  3. All lights on.

All 3 resulting final behaviors are called attractors. Attractors are end state that the system flows into or gravitates toward when it starts in some other state. If a system starts in an attractor state, it remains there. The attractor can consist of a single state in the state space, or a repetitive cycle of state called a state cycle. The sequence of states that the system follows from an initial state through intermediate states until it reaches an attractor is called a trajectory.

In that environment, chaos transitions into order very quickly.

How a Complex System Becomes an Organism

To appreciate the concepts of chaos and order more fully, let’s assume we go with 200 people instead of 10.  The state space is absolutely staggering. Let’s assume we go through 1 million different states per second.  It would still take billions and billions of years to go through the entire state space.

Now, if that’s true about 200 lights, think of the complexity with 100,000 genes or the 100 billion neurons in the human brain.

Between the extremes of chaos and order, the system can self-organize into clusters that follow rules of behavior internally as well as externally, by influencing and being influenced by neighboring clusters. The size of each cluster and the number of clusters will determine where along the scale from order to chaos the system is positioned. Namely, the degree of order will be determined by the number of attractors, and how rapidly they can be reached from any state in the complex environment. To survive in a variable environment, living systems must strike a balance between the stability of order and instability of change. A system must be stable, but not frozen in one state, nor unstable to the point of quick departure s from one state to another as a result of the slightest change in the environment in which the system must adapt to survive.

Studies of complex systems have indicated that systems adapt best when they operate in a state of order on the edge of chaos, in which a measure of stable constancy is coupled with the flexibility of adaptability – that is, where evolutionary, planned, slow, and orderly changes within the state of order, rooted in habitual thinking, are augmented by revolutionary, rapid, breakthrough innovation rooted in unplanned spontaneous thinking.


Systems, or parts of systems in the forms of clusters, do not operate in isolation. They are linked together with other clusters and systems and they co-evolve. We invent, shape, change, and refine artifacts; artifacts, in turn, change us. We co-evolve with artifacts that we create; we shape them as they shape us. The revolution is in the invention of the artifacts. Once invented and found useful, the reciprocity starts. The artifacts pull people to adopt them because they help attain human goals. Those who do not adopt them fall behind. Major breakthrough innovation and inventions create revolutions that usher new futures for mankind, futures that demand that we co-evolve with the innovation or invention at a new level or order.

We are in a state of flux. We are on the edge of chaos. It is time for great innovation and creativity to spark ideas for the next revolution.  Only with mutual trust can we remove the blocks and constraints that keep human potential for creativity from rising to ever higher levels.

To thrive on the edge of chaos the organization must be transformed into an organism in which deliberate planning is augmented by emergent strategies for adapting to a future that arrives unannounced.



The Minding Organization: Chapter 1

9780471347811_jacket_14.inddTitle: The Minding Organization: Bring the Future to the Present and Turn Creative Ideas into Business Solutions

Authors: Moshe F. Rubinstein and Iris R. Firstenberg







Organization comes from the word organism, which means a vital, alive being. An organization alive with the ideas and commitment of its people is an organism.


In a minding organization, not only does the right hand know what the left hand is doing; it knows without constantly having to supervise the left hand’s action. Just as your body is an organism, and you can reach behind your head with your left hand and catch it with your right, so can a minding organization coordinate its effort as a single organism.

Staying with the analogy of hands, if you burn one hand on a stove, the mind registers that hot stove must be avoided, and perpetuates the knowledge by passing it through the organism. The other hand does not hit the burned hand and tell it what an idiot it is for getting burned; rather, it soothes the burned hand and learns from the documented knowledge so that i does not need to also get burned.  When people in an organization makes mistake, it is the equivalent of getting burned.


We just do not see the connection between conversations and productivity. The truth of the matter is that conversation propels creativity and innovation, and in mindful organizations exchanges among workers is invited, encouraged, and rewarded.


The Minding Process

A wonderful anecdote that illustrates this facet of frames of mind and thinking involves an encounter that Moshe had in Jerusalem with an educated, well-to-do Arab named Ahmed.  Ahmed put forth the following question to test the wisdom of those gathered at his dinner table: “Imagine that you, your mother, your wife, and your child are in a boat, and it capsizes. You can save yourself and only one of the remaining three. Whom will you save?”  The response most common along Western line of thoughts is to save the child. The rationale people give is that the child has an entire life ahead and thus has the most to lose. Ahmed, however, considered this to be the wrong answer.  As he saw it, there was only one correct answer, with a corresponding rational argument to support it. “you see,” he said, ” you can have more than one wife in a lifetime, you can have more than one child, but you only have one mother. You must save your mother.”


Understanding that other people have valid interpretations and point of view that are different from your own is important for a number of reasons. It removes the necessity of trying to convert everyone to the same point of view. Instead, every member of the group accepts the possibility of the various perspectives and remain open to new information, which may lend more credibility to one or another of the views. When a single-minded perspective is adopted, new information tends to be discounted, or ignored altogether, when it does not fit this frame of mind.  Even as evidence mounts, if it does not fit the cognitive model that a person holds, the information will dissipate into mindlessness.  When we are open to multiple points of view, information is evaluated in a more minding frame, to see where it might fit in. As change occurs, it is brought in incrementally and we are not shocked into uttering, “How could I have been so blind!” having looked without seeing.


When we do not question the process, minding has stopped. Ellen J. Langer, in her insightful book Mindfulness, relays the anecdote of three generations of women who have been making pot roast with the same recipe. The youngest woman has always cut a piece off the roast before putting it into the pot. When asked by a friend why she does this, she realizes that she has no idea why it is necessary to cut off a slice, and calls her mother to inquire.  Her mother is also puzzled by the question, and she tells her daughter that she cuts off a slice because that’s the way her mother has always done it. They decide to question the grandmother on this ritual.  The grandmother answers that the reason she slices the roast is, “that’s the only way it will fit into my pot.”  This anecdote illustrates the absurdity of certain actions, which may have a reason for their origin, but are then propagated mindlessly. Many organizations will frequently turn down a new process because “we’ve never done that before,” and will continue with a line of action ” because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  It may very well be that the organization developed a behavior of “a pot that was too small,” but the original reason for the action has become obsolete or irrelevant. “Because we’ve  always done it that way” is synonymous with not minding the content in which you do business. Always ask, “Why?”


Minding does not mean that we never accept a decision and move on. It means, instead, that we are conscious that we have done so and that the decision was, in this sense, arbitrary; that is, we choose a cutoff point where we stop asking questions and seeking additional information.  This mind frame will allow change to more readily be admitted; it does not mean that we will constantly be changing. By minding, we continue to be aware of choices, aware that other alternatives are available, even if at the moment we are not availing ourselves of them.  Minding is then a liberating activity, not an incapacitating activity. When changes do become necessary, they are not viewed as departures from the norm, but a part of the greater norm.


The emphasis on process rather than exclusively on results is not easy for a society that values achievements. Promotions and raises are based on the bottom line, not a lines of thought. A story to illustrate this point: A farmer who is the father of two sons finds himself too ill to till his fields. He calls the first son to his beside and asks him to work the fields. The son caresses his father and assures him that he will tend to the work.  However, as soon as he leaves his father he takes the family car and spends the day in town, thinking his father will never know the difference.  The father calls the second son and asks him to also tend the fields.  The second son irately responds that he is tired of farm work and refuses to take on the burden.  When he leaves his father’s bedside, he reflects for a while and is ashamed of himself.  Without saying a word to his father, he goes out to the field and does the entire job.  At the end of the day, the father discovers the first son spent the day carousing in town while the second son tilled the field. Which son incurs more of the father’s anger on this day? It is, of course, a matter of perspective.  In Western society most people would answer that the first son, who promised to work but failed to do so, would get the bulk of the father’s anger.  The second son, while speaking disrespectfully to his father, nevertheless got the job done. The emphasis is on the outcome.  In another culture, in which process takes precedence over results, the emphasis is on how the sons spoke to the father. People from a process-oriented culture will be more angry with the son who spoke spitefully, with the ensuing fieldwork of secondary importance.  Once again, there is always more than one way to look at situation.

 Errors as Part of the Minding Process

Processes are subject to continuous revisions; outcomes are rigid. This is the most significant difference in the two approaches. Error as part of an ongoing process implies that we learn, adapt, and move on; error as an outcome freezes us in place.


The world is full of good design, but we are unaware of most of it. Poor design catches our attention because a product is awkward to use or a service frustrating to implement.  Details that make a product work are added by people carefully thinking of how others use objects, the kind of errors that can ensue, and carefully observing the interaction between people and products.  When someone makes an error, there is usually a good reason for it.  Perhaps the information available is incomplete or misleading. Perhaps the context leads to a misinterpretation of available information. Most decisions seem sensible at the time they are made. Errors are understandable once their cause is determined. Systems must be designed to learn from error, not just eliminate it.


Human cognition is limited, and ability to interact with objects is subject to constraints. A designer who depends on an instruction manual to mediate between a product and a user has not been creative enough to consider alternatives.


Context is a powerful controlling mechanism, and minding requires an awareness of its effects. What role do our perceptions play in creating context? Context, like any other aspect of reality, is also a function of our interpretations. Are the economics of today a good context for starting a business? This depends on what factors you are considering and what type of business you are evaluating.


When we perceive that someone has taken our words “out of context,” we are really saying that they have imposed a context on our words that is different from the context we framed for our words.

The ability to change contexts and use multiple contexts is also known as re-framing.


As we increase our repertoire of mental frames, we increase our agility to interpret information and innovate. Railroads declined because they saw themselves in the limit context of “moving on rails,” and not in the broader frame  of “transportation.” Typewriters companies became obsolete because they restricted themselves to “typing” instead of the broader frame of “word processing.” In contrast, Xerox re-framed itself to become “The Document Company” by broadening the context from the limits of being “The Photocopy Company”


Interpreting a business through new frames opens up possible ventures that the mind otherwise never considers. Narrow frame give way to wider frames; vertical frames give way to frames of two and three dimensions. The possibilities are endless for increasing minding.


A New Metaphor

The new metaphor requires the organization to embrace uncertainty and chaos, and to learn to thrive on it.  The organization must find ways to bring the future closer to the present by employing concurrent perceptions, those of the past, present, and future, and learn the powerful skills of thinking backwards. Decisions making must become more distributed across the organization, all the way to the “vehicle driver.” learning will be central if the organization continues to adapt and becomes capable of dealing with the unplanned and unanticipated, which will be more prevalent in the future.The Power of Human PerceptionArtificial intelligence has made a profound contribution to enhance our understanding of the power and complexity of the human brain.  It has also identified the limits of the computer as the model of the brain. Once we move out from the expert domain to the domain of common sense, it is virtually impossible to mimic human behavior. Unpredictable events that require improvisation are still a domain in which the human reigns supreme, and the computer can hardly begin to emulate successfully.


Expert systems, which are computer programs that attempt to mimic expert behavior, are based on the assumption that the expert has a complete theory that he or she can articulate. However, evidence is mounting that experts operate with incomplete theories, and they must balance constancy of behavior with flexibility to adapt to new situations by improvising. Also, the expert is not able to articulate fully the process that he or she employs.

Minding and Creativity

Creative thinking requires a process that is quite different from that of rational thinking.  Whereas rational thinking depends on categories and labels that have been set up in advance, creative thinking demands that we form new categories and labels.  Rational thought leads us to find the similarities between a new experience and previous experiences so that we can treat them the same way.  Creative thought looks for the difference among experiences, seeking unique ways of both interpreting situations and acting upon them.  Rational thinking seeks to confirm; creative thinking seeks to invent. Both rational thought and creative thought are necessary for minding.


Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner has developed a theory of multiple intelligences that people have within themselves. They include the following abilities

  • Logical mathematical
  • Verbal
  • Spatial
  • Musical
  • Bodily -kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal -with others
  • Intrapersonal- with oneself

These many forms of intelligence translate to the following possible forms of creativity and excellence in various domains; teaching, research, poetry, mathematics, music, technical, verbal expression, acting, body movement, social behavior, psychology, as well as others.


Attributes of Creative People

The following attributes summarize many studies over the years characterizing people who display creative behavior. Creative people:

  • Have a strong capacity for abstract thinking
  • Can assimilate opposites
  • Have high tolerance for complexity
  • Respect fact and attempt to give them interpretation and meaning in a larger context
  • Tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, and conflict
  • Like adventure
  • Enjoy the surprise of the unplanned
  • Are confident in themselves and in what they are doing, whatever the outcome
  • Like to see the results of their efforts

Finally, for creative people, optimism and errors are actual strategies.These attributes are central to the creative process that involves homo-spatial thinking, which calls for holding opposites in the same space or frame long enough to permit the possible emergence of new frames, new ideas, or new creative sparks.  This juxtaposition of opposites, such as negative and positive, right and wrong, good and bad, rest and motion, wave and particle, and soon, is part of the creative process that includes the following oscillation between extremes of spectrum: the state of chaos and the state of order, diffused broad panoramas and sharply focused fields, the whole and its constituent elements, the abstract and the concrete, to see the familiar as strange and the strange as familiar.

Book to Read:
The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman
Mindfulness, Ellen J. Langer









Golems, Zombies, Tentacled Creatures, lend me your half-eaten Pinna!

I’m currently doing my PhD dissertation @ University of Missouri, Rolla in Systems Engineering.  The problem area that I plan on tackling is in Product Development, Conceptual Engineering, and technology readiness level (TRL) 0-4.

My proposed title is “Fostering Innovation Utilizing Computational Intelligence in Large Systems and System of Systems Architectures“.

Here’s a copy of the Program_Study, with selected data scrubbed (my name, phone number, ID, school e-mail, and adviser’s name) for apparent reasons.

So my aim in utilizing this blog is to document my research as I go.  It is with the hopes that as long as I keep documenting  knowledge that I discover, which might or might not be pertinent to the topic itself, that hypothetically . . .  the dissertation should be able to write itself in the end.

The rule I’ve set for myself is pretty simple. Everything should be captured and documented, that way I maintain complete transparency about where I got my data, my interpretation (right or wrong), and be open to feedback.

Needless to say I’ve already started doing my research and realized that I needed a much better documentation and knowledge management tool, ergo my buddy who runs the Heterodoxia blog, recommended that I use blogging as a means to achieve what I need.  Complete transparency plus the ability for the audience to provide feedback, comment, critiques, and so forth.

My thoughts will be all over the map as I research different areas that will bolster the original proposed dissertation topic.

Bear with me as I go down the rabbit hole, devoid of  psychotropics, holotropic breathwork, or sensor deprivation.